Ed Bennett
Bernard Gander
Geoff Hannan
Bryn Harrison
Marcel Reuter
Gerald Resch
Joanna Wozny
Dobrinka Tabakova
Darren Bloom
Melissa Doecke
Neil Georgeson
Thomas Lessels
The Ossian Ensemble
Krassimir Sterev
Louisa Tuck
David Worswick
Clemens Benedikt Kölbl
Loré Lixenberg
Andy Morton
Johanna von der Deken

Ed Bennett is from Bangor, Co. Down, N. Ireland and works in the fields of notated, electronic and improvised contemporary music. His composition teachers have included Michael Finnissy and Brian Irvine. His music, which has a wide range of influences, has been commissioned and performed internationally by many diverse artists, ensembles and organizations. He also performs with and directs his own ensemble, ‘decibel’, which is dedicated to the performance of new and experimental cross-discipline work. Highlights for 2007 include a composer portrait concert with the National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland in Dublin. http://www.cmc.ie/composers/composer.cfm?composerID=130

Bernhard Gander was born in Lienz/East Tyrol in 1969. He studied music at the Landeskonservatorium of Tyrol (piano, composition), at the University for Music and the Dramatic Arts in Graz (composition under Beat Furrer). He continued his studies at Studio UPIC/Paris under Julio Estrada and Curtis Roads, followed by work at the Swiss Zentrum für Computermusic in Zurich. Bernhard Gander has been commissioned to compose works by the ensembles Klangforum Wien and Ensemble Modern, as well as by the Musikprotokoll and Klangspuren festivals. http://www.komponistenbund.at/kongress/d/?page=7.4

Geoff Hannan was born of Irish parents in London. In 1987, he met Michael Finnissy who became an important mentor. In 1998, he was awarded the Gaudeamus International Composition Prize. Since then, he has developed a distinctive voice with a satirical accent. There is in all the work a disconcerting combination of sophistication and naivity, together with an absence of professional gloss. In 2006, Geoff completed a PhD at Royal Holloway with film composer Brian Lock. Highlights of 2007 include a Tour of Work/Bonk by the Ives Ensemble (Netherlands) in the Autumn. Geoff’s music is represented by BMIC “Contemporary Voices”. http://www.bmic.co.uk/composers/cv_details.asp?ComposerID=2546

Bryn Harrison (b. 1969) studied composition with Gavin Bryars at De Montfort University, Leicester and briefly with Alvin Lucier, Christian Wolff and Peter Kotik during the 2001 Ostrava New Music Days. In 1999 he was selected to compete for the International Gaudeamus Prize in the Netherlands and since then he has received many performances throughout Europe, USA and Japan. Over the last five years he has participated on a number of projects with painter and printmaker Mike Walker as well as collaborating recently with artist book-maker John McDowall. http://www.hud.ac.uk/mh/music/research/bryn-harrison.php

Marcel Reuter (b. Luxemburg, 1973). He studied piano and composition at the Conservatoires of Brussels and Luxemburg. In 1996, he went to Vienna to finish his composition studies with Michael Jarrell at the University for Music. Marcel Reuter’s works have been played at several festivals in Europe (Salzburg Festival, Klangspuren Schwaz, MärzMusik Berlin, Wien Modern e.g.), as well as in Hongkong, Tokyo and Montreal. Commissions include works for Nederlands Vocaal Laboratorium, Essl Foundation, Vienna Concert Hall. Presently, he is working on a piece for the Luxembourg Philharmonic Orchestra, to be premiered in November 2007. Since 2002, Marcel Reuter has taught at the University of Music in Vienna. www.edition21.at

Gerald Resch was born in Linz/Upper Austria in 1975. He studied composition with Michael Jarrell at the University of Music in Vienna (1993–2000) as well as Science of Music. He also did a postgraduate programme with Beat Furrer at the University for Music and the Dramatic Arts and a course for electro-acoustic composition and computer music, also at the University of Music in Vienna. Since 2004, Gerald Resch teaches musical analysis at the Bruckner University in Linz. He was composer in residence at the “Frühjahrstage für Neue Musik” in Weimar and is currently composer in residence at the Musikverein in Vienna. http://www.edition21.at/_composer.php?sprache=de&comp_nn=Resch&to_include=c

Joanna Wozny was born in Zabrze/Poland in 1973. After studying philosophy in Katowice, she came to Graz to study composition and music theory under Gerd Kühr and Beat Furrer at the University for Music and the Performing Arts (additional lessons in composition with Younghi Pagh-Paan). In 2003, she graduated from the University for Music and Performing Arts in Graz with distinction. Awards include the Austrian State Scholarship for Composition (twice), the music promotion award of the city of Graz, and the Appreciation Award of the University of Music and the Performing Arts in Graz. http://www.kulturserver-graz.at/v/wozny.html

Growing up in London, Bulgarian-born Dobrinka Tabakova (b. 1980) attended Alleyn’s School and the Royal Academy of Music Junior Department, specialising in piano and composition. She graduated Bmus and Mmus in composition at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama (GSMD) with distinction and was then appointed composition fellow there. Currently Dobrinka is completing her composition PhD in composition at King’s College, London. Her composition teachers have included Simon Bainbridge, Diana Burrell, Robert Keeley and Andrew Schultz. Awards include the Jean-Frederic Perrenoud Prize and Medal at the 4th Vienna International Music Competition and the prize for an anthem for the Queen’s Golden Jubilee in 2002. http://dobrinka.com

Musicians

Darren Bloom, having studied the violin from the age of 10, and attended the Los Angeles County High School for the Arts as a violinist, Darren has established a firm belief in the importance of the performing composer. At both the RCM and RAM Darren studied conducting with Neil Thompson, Edwin Roxburgh, Timothy Salter and Christopher Austin, conducting ensembles including the BBCSO Endangered Species Ensemble, the Contemporary Consort, the RCM Wind Ensemble, and the RAM Composers Ensemble. As a performer he also appears regularly with the RCM Gamelan Ensemble and as a chorister in the Ionian Singers. Darren is currently the Royal Academy of Music Manson Fellow of Composition.

Melissa Doecke graduated in June 2006 with a Postgraduate Diploma in flute from the Royal Academy of Music, where she studied with Michael Cox and Karen Jones. She won many awards including the RAM Flute Prize, Harold Craxton Chamber Music Prize and the prestigious RAM Club Prize. Since her arrival in the UK in September 2004, Melissa has been in demand as a soloist, chamber and orchestral musician. In Australia she has performed solo recitals in Brisbane, Canberra, the Gold Coast and throughout South Australia in addition to numerous chamber ensemble concerts in most capital cities.

Neil Georgeson read music at Edinburgh University, under the tutelage of Peter Evans, where he performed frequently in venues throughout the city and played concertos with several orchestras. During this time, he won various prizes and also performed for Her Majesty the Queen. In 2001, he moved to London to study for his Masters degree and Postgraduate Diploma at the Royal Academy of Music, under the tutelage of Ian Fountain and Patsy Toh. He has also benefited from masterclasses with Irina Zaritzkaya, Victor Rosenbaum and Joanna MacGregor.

Thomas Lessels studied at the Birmingham Conservatoire with Michael Harris and in Norway with Hans Christian Bræin. He is a recent graduate of the Royal Academy of Music, where he was tutored by Angela Malsbury, Michael Collins, Tim Lines and Richard Addison. Tom has been the principal clarinettist of the European Union Youth Orchestra since July 2004, performing in the finest halls throughout the world with such conductors as Bernard Haitink, Paavo Järvi and Sir John Eliot Gardiner. In 2005, Tom was a scholarship student of the Zermatt Festival Academy and Chamber Orchestra, under the tutelage of the wind soloists of the Berliner Philharmoniker. Also active as a composer, Neil recently gave the premiere, to great critical acclaim, of his work Simmermill for violin and piano.

The Ossian Ensemble is dedicated to engaging audiences in the music of the 20th and 21st centuries and fostering the work of emerging composers. Communicating a belief that this music is available to all, we are always striving for more compelling methods and means to articulate our deeply held commitment to embracing the New.

Krassimir Sterev (born 1969) studied music theory and choral conducting at the Pancho Vladigerov Academy in Sofia (1990). In 1991 he studied at the Musikhochschule Graz with Mogens Epegaard, who strongly influenced his musical development and completed his studies with James Crabb. Between 1994 and 1996 Krassimir was a foundation scholarship holder at the Royal Danish Academy of Music of Copenhagen where he studied in a solo class in 1997 and played his debut concert in 1999. He has played in numerous international festivals, Festival dŒAutomne Paris, Wiener Festwochen, Musica Nova in Sofia, Salzburg Festival, La Musica de Nuestro Tiempo V Madrid, Huddersfield, Humanities Chicago as well as with orchestras, London Philharmonia Orchestra, Sharoun Ensemble Berlin, Sheland Orchestra Copenhagen. He also performs with Tango ensembles and theater companies. Krassimir has been a member of Klangforum Wien since 2003.

Louisa Tuck graduated from the Royal Academy of Music in 2005, where she won the Moir Carnige award for best graduation recital, and has established herself as a soloist, chamber musician, and orchestral performer. Louisa was principal cellist of the combined symphony orchestras of the RAM and the Julliard School at the 2005 BBC Proms, in a live TV broadcast conducted by Sir Colin Davis. Louisa has performed with both the LSO and Philharmonia Orchestras, and is featured on a DVD of masterclasses at the Wigmore Hall given by the veteran cellist Bernard Greenhouse. Louisa studied with Amanda Truelove and Robert Max at the Purcell School, and with Paul Watkins and Philip Sheppard at the Royal Academy of Music.

David Worswick was born in Liverpool in 1983 and took up the violin at the age of eight. At the age of fourteen he was given a scholarship to attend the Junior Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester and went on to study at Chetham’s School of Music. Recently, David graduated with distinction and honours from the Royal Academy of Music in London, where he studied with Erich Gruenberg and Matthew Souter and performed in masterclasses with Maxim Vengerov i.e. Whilst at the academy, David won various awards including the Delius Prize and the Leslie Anderson Award. He works regularly with today’s leading young composers, and has premiered over thirty new works written especially for him.

Singers

Clemens Benedikt Kölbl (Baritone) was born in Innsbruck/Tyrol. In 1994 he received his first professional vocal tuition from Maria-Luise Erlacher and Prof. Kurt Widmer. In 1999 he passed the auditions for the Universität für Musik und Darstellende Kunst and started his studies with Prof. Ralf Döring. Since 2002, when he first came to London on an exchange programme to the Royal College of Music, he has travelled a lot between Austria and the UK. He finished the undergraduate courses both in Vienna and London in 2004 and did his fifth year in London with Neil Mackie. He is in the midst of finishing his M.A. in Vienna (master thesis on Brahms’ “Die schöne Magelone”) as well as studying Lieder with David Lutz.

The mezzo soprano Loré Lixenberg is “a performer of spectacular intensity and expressiveness”. She has performed throughout Europe at numerous festivals including Wien Modern, Oslo’s Ultima and the festival in Lucerne. In the autumn of 2004 she featured in the documentary “What made Mozart Tick,” broadcast by Channel 4. Her performance of Cage’s “Aria”at a BBC Symphony Orchestra concert in London in January 2004 was rapturously received by audience and critics alike. Loré Lixenberg sang the main operatic role in Richard Thomas’ award-winning “Jerry Springer - The Opera” at the Edinburgh Festival, the National Theatre and in London’s West End as well as on the subsequently released CD.

Andy Morton is from Dorset. His recent appearances include Joe the Fossil Hunter in the World Premiere of Graham Treacher’s “Darwin’s Dream” (Royal Albert Hall), Professor Winklebeam in Pinocchio (Royal Opera House) and Fenton in a feature film of “Falstaff” for Capriol Films. In great demand on the contemporary opera scene, he took the lead in Battersea Arts Centre’s notorious gay thriller “Black and Blue”, and in Maxwell Davies’ “Eight Songs for a Mad King” (Royal Concert Hall in Glasgow). This summer he will be appearing with Opera Circus in a new opera by Nigel Osborne. Besides the huge number of appearances in the diverse international Opera Houses, his varied repertoire ranges from singing as a lead soloist in leading contemporary ensembles to appearing in musical theatres.

Soprano Johanna von der Deken was born in Graz. Her acting studies at the school of the Wiener Volkstheater were followed by vocal studies at the Konservatorium der Stadt Wien. Johanna also took private singing lessons with KS Hilde Rössel-Majdan, KS Hilde Zadek and Prof. Herwig Reiter. Some of the highlights in her career have been the part of Caldara’s “Dafne”, the Styriarte – productions of “Robert Stolz-Revue, “Le Feste d’Orfeo”, “Schubert im Schilcherland”, “l’Allegro” by G.F. Händel and Buxtehude’s “Membra Jesu Nostri” under Jordi Savall. These and many other projects show her unusually manifold repertoire from early baroque up to contemporary music.